Hercules doesn’t look anything like his namesake.
Wasted to nearly nothing, his ribs stand out like a xylophone and his hip bones are a pair of blades.
You can count his vertebrae with just a glance.
The American bulldog was found locked in a crate in deplorable conditions, New Jersey SPCA president Rick Yocum said, after a Deptford police officer responded to the Oak Valley home where he lived last week.
Now his owner, Roxanne Notaro, is facing multiple counts of animal cruelty for allegedly abusing the dog.
Hercules was found in the basement of Notaro’s Vassar Road home on April 3, Yocum said, covered in his own feces and urine, and anemic from an infestation of fleas that had feasted on him.
He was malnourished and dehydrated, Yocum said, and was taken from the home by Gloucester County animal control and whisked to Delaware Valley Veterinary Hospital for emergency treatment.
He’s recovering in foster care now, according to Yocum, but the NJSPCA is looking for donations to help cover his medical costs so far, as well as for surgery the dog will need on his elbow at some point in the future.
Notaro faces six counts of animal cruelty for the alleged abuse.
Editor's note: this article was edited to reflect the fact that the home is actually in the Oak Valley section of Deptford.